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"When I was around four or five, my parents took me to the Virginia Theater to see Frankenstein.  I can still remember what I felt about it.  It was scary, but I loved it.  It was a rainy day that day."  Donna Holbrook, Cornettsville, KY

"My most vivid memory of the Family Theatre was going to see The Beatles in 'A Hard Day's Night,' over and over again.  I'm not sure how many times I saw it, but it was the next best thing to seeing them in person which I figured was impossible. I remember 'slipping' in to see 'Medium Cool.'  I think it was restricted to 18 year olds but nobody cared.  I also remember that my preacher's wife went to see the same movie."  Joe E - New York City

"The only movie I remember seeing at the Virgina was 'The Ten Commandments.'  I was in grade school at the time, don't remember what year. I do remember I was sitting next to a boy by the name of Lonnie Napier.  We were pupils at a two room school.  Mrs. Ruby Woods and Mr. Custer Brashear were our teachers.  They took all the students (whose parents would allow them to go) to see this movie one day.  The was 'Logwood' on the left fork of Masons Creek at Viper."  Linda L. Brown, Sassafras, KY

"The Ten Commandments, was the first movie I ever saw.  I use to sing on a Saturday show with George Davis there.  It was a local talent show.  My sister and I were The Caudill Sisters.  I think my big Gibson guitar was bigger than me at the time.  I live in Kentucky and proud of Hazard.  Trena Caudill, Viper, KY

"I remember riding the train from Viper to Hazard and the first raunchy (mild) for nowadays, movie was the 'Outlaw' with Jane Russell.  First movie that I can remember where a man and woman got into the same bed.  Boy, have things changed.  Guess you can pretty figure my age by this.  Wish things were like years ago."  Frankie L. Roberts

"The first movie I remember seeing in Hazard was Sonny Boy with Al Jolson.  It was the first with sound that had been shown in Hazard.  We had to make three trips from Scuddy before they got the sound to work.  The last movie I saw in Hazard was either Gone With the Wind or Mr. Smith goes to Washington, whichever came later." ALM 

"The first movie I remember seeing was 'Gone with the Wind' at the Grand View Drive-in."  Yvonne Bowling Campbell, Dayton, Ohio

"My mother used to drop me and my brother, Wendell, off for the afternoon while she shopped downtown.  I remember westerns, Hop-Along-Cassidy films, & Annette Funicello Beach Films.  By the way, my dad, Stanley Ogrosky, remembers silent films in Hazard in the 1920's. He is still playing golf in London, Ky."  V. Martin Ogrosky, Charlotte, NC area

"I live in Cincinnati Ohio but I was born on Big Creek.  I was eight when we went to Ohio.  We use to catch the Greyhound to come to Hazard.  We would stop off at the Virginia and see Gene Autry.  This was 1952 or 1953.  My mother, Mallie Baker wrote for the paper."  (no name given)

"One of my favorite movies was 'Incendiary Blond' starring Betty Hutton, and I saw it several times at the Virginia.  Recently a friend of mine (ex-Hazardite) in South Carolina sent me a video of this movie.  Now, I can enjoy it anytime I want. Going to the movies was a real pleasure in the 1940s.  I tried to go once a week and my Mom liked the 'Bank Nights' at the Virginia Theater where you could win dishes, etc.  Once in a while there would be stage shows; these were a real delight.  My cousins also operated movies (Pastime Theater) in Vicco, and our family would also see a show when we visited them on Sundays.  The Pastime also had a stage show now and then.  One particular time I remember is when a famous cowboy made an appearance there and stayed at my cousins' home (there must not have been a hotel in Vicco).  My cousin Nellie introduced me to the cowboy and his wife and we all had dinner together that Sunday, but I cannot remember his name.   I do miss the big movie screens of yesteryear. I don't care for the 'cracker boxes' they have at the malls now."  Billie Reda Sowers, Dayton, OH

"I worked at the Virginia & Family Theaters in the 40's so I can't remember where I was when this movie was playing but the name of it was Sentimental Journey with Guy Madison.  I was so hooked on this movie that I remember asking the usher to trade places with me in the ticket booth when the good parts came on, (I could tell by the music).  My memories of the theaters is much more than the movies that played. I have so many memories of the people there. Erman Wertz. Tony Cassenella, June Sharone, Grace Day & others that I will never forget . What a fun place to work.  I remember the Stage Shows we had periodically at the Family theater.  Those really were the good old days & I'm glad I was there & experienced the things I did. I live in Texas now but Hazard will always be my home Haven't seen it in over 20 yrs. so this website is wonderful for me.  Thank you."  Vera Feltner Hudson

"I am reminded of the time that my friend, Ruth and I slipped into the Cinema Drive-in Theater at Christopher.  I was in college, believe it or not. We followed some young boys around to the back of the fenced area.  They assured us that one could get in quite easily.  My friend and I had been on a shopping spree and were both broke and she loved Elvis Presley and he was starring in Flaming Star that night.  She was determined to see the movie.  I just followed.  The young boys, using a sumac stick held the corrugated metal fence flap back for us to crawl in.  We stood up, dusted off our clothes to find that we were staring into the lights of so many cars with honking horns.  We had entered to the left of the screen and had been watched by most of the occupants.  Needless to say, by the time we were seated in the outdoor seats, we were kindly asked to leave by the guard.  I was so embarrassed I could have killed her." Anonymous

"Does anyone remember the 'live' Frankenstein shows at the Family and Virginia Theaters downtown? The 'monster' would walk the aisles, when the lights were out and grab someone.  This  was really scary as a kid in 40's."  Angelene Boyas, North, Bradenton, Florida

"I grew up in Christopher.  Some of the best memories of my childhood are of me and my little brother and sister playing at the Cinema Drive-In. We would walk up there in the summertime and crawl under the fence and play on the playground.  We knew Sonny would show up at any time and run us off.. or worse.  But it was worth it. We didn't destroy anything.  We just played. When I think of these times, the memories are so vivid. I can be a child and care free.....for just a moment." Anonymous

"Who remembers the Cinema Drive-In and the all night Clint Eastwood festival?  Did you ever get into the Family Theater for free? Who let you?" Anonymous

"I remember taking the bus into town many Saturday mornings and going to the movie at the Family Theater.  We would stay and watch the movie at least two or three times.  It only cost a quarter to get in and pop and candy were ten cents.  It was some great times.  It really takes me back.  What a shame it's no longer there----progress stinks."  Sam Clay, Hardburly, KY

"I remember catching the Hardburley Bus to go to the Family Theatre every Saturday when I was a young teen and then as I got older I went with a Boyfriend.  I remember wild kids throwing Pop from the balcony.  I remember in 1977 watching 'Star Wars.'  It was so much fun going there to see people and to be seen also.  I remember in the late '60's Dick Clark being in front of the theatre for some reason.  It would be nice if you all still had some input from that also."  Annon, Hardburley, KY

"As a kid going to the Family Theater was a thrill, riding the bus from Willard to Hazard, going to the movies and the Sweet Shop.  My best memories are the Clint Eastwood westerns." Mike Thompson, Hazard, KY



"I remember my mom sending me to the store to get a few items.  We lived at Sassafras, KY and the Vicco theater was showing one of Elvis' movies.  I believe it was Jail House Rock.  Of course Elvis was my idol so I said to myself I have to see this movie.  All I had was the money mom gave me to get  things she needed.  She gave me 25 cents.  That was enough to get me in the theater plus  a coke and a bag of popcorn.  So I saw the movie and was afraid to go home because I knew I was in trouble.  I was sitting in the theater and I saw my older sister looking for me.  I would duck down every time she got close to me but she finally found me.  She said, 'boy are you in trouble.'  So we went on home.  I was expecting the worst from mom but when I told her I just had to see Elvis she started to laugh so hard.  Because she loved Elvis too she forgave me but not before I promised I would never do anything  like that again.  I promised and got out of a butt spanking."  Flora (Huff) Spencer, Hazard, KY  

"I enjoy learning about what is shown in the local theaters and I really do like the movie Viva Las Vegas.  It is one of the best movies I have ever seen."  Anonymous


"The first 13 years of my life I lived at Leatherwood. My older sister and I would walk to the movie with our friends.  The one I remember scarring us to death was The Blob.  We had to walk home by the coal cars.  Some guys jumped out and scarred us."  Susan Parsons DuBois, Kenosha, Wisconsin.
"My wife and I came from Ohio to get married in Kentucky, [Busy].  We went to the Virginia Theater and seen The Blob.  Your web site brings back fond memories."  Anonymous in Ohio

"I think it's great that you post such great nostalgia!  Keep it up!"  Anonymous

"I miss the drive-in.  I would go with my sister and her date, (whoever it was for the weekend), and I would sit and wait for my chance to jump between them.  "Oh my, those was good times."  Anonymous

"When I was about 14 or 15, I spent a lot of time picking up discarded pop bottles from the ditch along the road. Know why? I returned them to a local store for the deposit. By the end of the week, I had accumulated enough money to go to the Grand-Vue Drive-In. That was the highlight of my week....to go to the Grand-Vue on Saturday night and watch a shoot-em-up western.  I miss drive-in movies."  Anonymous

"Saturday mornings at 10 am always caught us standing in line at the Family theater located where the Main Street entrance of Perry Furniture is now. 15 cents got the big kids in and the smaller ones remained as small as possible to get in free.  Mean kids tried to sneak in. Oh, the joy of stepping into that lobby filled with people getting salty popcorn and nickel candy bars, pepsi out of a machine for a dime, then arms filled, pushing through the swinging doors in to the dark room and sit as close to the front row as possible. Lash Larue, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Red Ryder and Little beaver , Randolf Scott and all the cowboys, then the pre-vues and cartoons plus the serial episode. I mostly remember Flash Gordon. The serial always ended in a cliff-hanger, our hero in a cave or space ship, etc. He was always fighting for his very life and apparently losing, but he always came through the next week. You could stay as many times as you pleased but when you did stagger out into the bright light, you were ready for home and the bed to wait until next weeks exciting show. We would have gladly walked a thousand miles without complaint." Movie Critic

"I remember going to two movie houses on Saturday morning in Hazard.  I would go to one and then (making sure I saved enough money) I would walk, if memory serves me correct quite a ways to the other and watch whatever was on.  Most of the time it was Lash Larue on Saturday mornings at the Virginia, (wonder what ever happened to him?), Gene, Roy or Doris Day in Oklahoma.  The prices must have been 'right.' because I would only get a dollar for the day (1954-57).  Those old movies sure were fun and still are if you can catch them on video.  I believe the westerns with real messages were 'mortar' for the 'bricks of life'."  Tony Greer  cleatiscaudill@aol.com  

"When I was a boy me and my mother, Mallie Baker, stopped in the Virginia Theater and saw a Gene Autry show."  David Baker

"David, I remember seeing you at the Gene Autry Movies.  Your old buddy, Boyd" (:)

"Well, now...if you got a boyfriend, you sat on the back row to hold hands and if you were REALLY N' LOVE, you cut to the right and went straight to the balcony where I understand they kissed on the lips. When we came out , we had gum all over our feet where people spit it in he floors and our clothes were sticky with food and pop. I took my kids there many times and we packed lunches and carried them because there were so many of us after we gathered up friends and family that we couldn't afford refreshments. We were extremely careful not to rattle papers when opening 'tater chips and not to spew our pops so the usher would hear us and kick us out. No smoking was allowed, but you could hear a match strike and smell smoke and follow it with your eyes right to the culprit. On Saturday night, they had "live stage" shows of magicians and stuff but it did no good to sneak out to the "midnight show" as it was called, because you couldn't get in unless you were 21. We tried saying we were old 'e-nuf,' but I guess a 12 year old couldn't  fool them. oooh, when the lights went out and the lion roared in glorious Technicolor......."  Hollergal

"Some of the best moments that occupy my memory are of the Virginia Theater and how we all met there, especially on Saturday evenings and Sunday.   Some of my best courting days were there in that theater...Those days are the good all days for me, and I would live it all over again if I could.  A South Carolina displaced Hazardite who graduated from HHS in 1952."

"I think this is a wonderful feature on this web site. It brings back a lot of old memories." Anonymous

"Hello to everyone.  I live in West Liberty and I enjoy movies."  Hurl Bates

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